Emotional boundaries are violated when you absorb other people’s emotions or are not allowed to experience your own emotions. You have a right to feel your feelings, regardless of what they are. You are responsible for how you express them, but you have every right to have them. You should be able to maintain an emotional boundary without feeling like you have hurt or disappointed another person. You should be able to ask for what you want or need.
You get up in the morning, feeling happy and content and looking forward to the day you have planned. Your father calls and is upset with your brother for some perceived slight. He tells you about it and you begin to get upset with your brother , even though the slight was directed at your father and not at you. You call your brother and tell him what you think of him. An argument ensues. You hang up distraught and agitated. You stay upset for the rest of the day and are unable to enjoy the plans you made.
If you tend to absorb other people’s emotions it’s good to get quiet and determine how you felt before Dad called. Also ask yourself how you felt about the situation before Dad told you how he felt. This may be one of the more difficult boundaries to establish and maintain. Dad may be hurt, feel rejected, or place guilt if you do not buy into his emotions and take on his cause against your brother. But it’s important that you maintain your right to only feel your own feelings and not take on his.
You can also have your emotional boundaries violated by name calling, insults, hate-filled remarks, discrimination, intolerance and prejudice. Being called stupid, ugly, fat or lazy is a violation of your emotional boundaries. Being insulted because of your race, sex, religious beliefs or sexual orientation is a violation of your emotional boundaries. Being treated as an inferior is an emotional boundary violation.
People can also violate your emotional boundaries by not allowing you to feel any emotions or not allowing you to express certain emotions. If you are not allowed to be angry, hurt, fearful or sad that is abuse. If you are only allowed to feel what someone else feels or what someone else thinks you should feel that is a boundary violation. Everyone human has emotions. They are a natural reaction to life and not allowing them denies us the full experience of life itself.
Many times people with anger problems do not have good emotional boundaries. They allow other people to control how they feel and how they respond to the point that they are raging out of control. They often personalize things which are not personal. They also fail to maintain a good boundary between their feelings and the rights of others. This failure to take responsibility for how they express the emotion of anger can result in them being violent, aggressive or abusive. Taking responsibility for how they perceive things, how they let things affect them and what they can do to derail the anger before it becomes full blown rage will go a long way toward reestablishing a healthy emotional boundary between themselves and others.